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Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) Paperback – June 8, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition)
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  • Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck
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  • Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Shows you how to expand your imagination.” --Newsweek
 
“A special find. Period.” --Executive Edge
 
“A must-have book in any business setting.” --Women in Business

From the Publisher

This new edition contains updated examples, three new Thinkertoys and an entirely new group brainstorming section with five new chapters. Michael is also the author of Thinkpak (A Brainstorming Card Set), which is a novel creative-thinking tool that is designed to facilitate brainstorming sessions and Cracking Creativity (The Secrets of Creative Geniuses) which describes the common thinking strategies creative geniuses have used in the sciences, art, and industry throughout history and shows how we can apply them to become more creative in our business and personal lives.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 2 edition (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580087736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580087735
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lee Say Keng on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
The first time I encountered 'Thinkertoys' it was actually the first edition released during the early 90's, when it was also about the time I began to explore the various options with regard to my mid-life transition. In fact, I had initially spotted an interesting review in the Entrepreneur magazine.

I managed to trace the publisher & had immediately ordered the first 100 copies for my debut bookstore. It became the best seller in my store for many years. Then came 'Cracking Creativity' a few years later as well as the accompanying brainstorming card deck, Thinkpak, to 'Thinkertoys'.

What impressed me most is not so much the creativity tools outlined in both books. In fact, the most productive learning experiences I got out of both books are a few very important things, which I would like to share with readers.

Let's take a look at Thinkertoys. In the Introduction, the author started off with a visual puzzle: 'Can you identify the figure below?'

Only by shifting your focus, you can then see the hidden word within the figure.

In the author's own words, "...by changing your perspectives, you can expand your possibilities..."

Let's move to 'Cracking Creativity'. In the Introduction, the author introduced a simple arithmetic equation: What is half of thirteen?

The subsequent passages as outlined in Part I: Seeing What No One else in Seeing, & Strategy I: Knowing How to See, by the author revealed the secrets to getting many possible answers (or perspectives) to the above equation.
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Format: Paperback
This book, together with my treasured Roger von Oech books, sit prominently on my bookshelf when working on a variety of problems - software development, film production, creative writing for scripts or novels, and developing opportunities in this mediacentric age. These books break open your mind from the restrictive fences imposed on our thinking by the conventional world that we are surrounded by. These fences need to be torn down. If you are an older person (probably older than 30!), then your thinking will become ossified. Just like using your muscles, you need to rework your brain and your thinking with effort to create opportunities and connections to emerging technologies and new developments.
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Format: Paperback
I've always thought of myself as highly creative, even iconoclastic (I have a background in avant-garde theater in New York City), so I was a bit miffed that there is a book containing most of the treasured techniques I thought I had invented. I can't say enough good things about this book, I had "Aha!" moments about every second page.

I definitely subscribe to the author's viewpoint that creativity is a talent that we are all born with, even if we don't all know it; further, that there are definable, learnable skills that can help anyone develop their creative faculties. This book is crammed full of thought experiments and exercises that do just that--help you become reliably, even systematically, creative.
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Format: Paperback
Length: 0:47 Mins
A useful and insightful tool for anyone working with creative people or wanting to think more creatively.
Nigel Collin
[...]
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Format: Paperback
So, about 6 months ago, I was in Barnes and Noble taking a look around through the business/marketing section and stumbled across this book. From the title to the chapter names to the example provided on the back of the book, I just knew this book was for me.

Not so.

I thought I would be met with "hundreds of ... puzzles," but was disappointed to find that out of "hundreds of hints, tricks, tips, tales, and puzzles," the puzzles took a back seat (I shouldn't be surprised, considering they threw "puzzles" on the end of that short list). Instead, I found myself constantly met with psychological and philosophical "tips" on everything from how to transform my negative thoughts so as to view myself in a positive light to rather child-like suggestions for thinking "outside of the box." I suppose my preconceived definition of "Thinker Toys" was a bit too complex. I expected to be mentally challenged, not consulted by Dr. Phil or have it feel assumed that there was NO WAY I could have possibly come up with the answers the author has given for various puzzles (which is how it seems when he explains to you why you couldn't see or think what you "should have" seen or thought).

Not to mention, I was frustrated by particular puzzles in which an over-thinker (such as myself) could have EASILY solved a problem had it not been posited/imaged as it was. One shining example, if you have the book, is on page 29. There's a guy in a room with two ropes extending down from the ceiling. The challenge is to tie the ropes together, but the problem is that they're hanging down far enough apart that you can't grab one while holding on to the other. "The room is bare, and you have only the things with you that you have in your pocket today. How do you solve the problem?
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